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Trade for a tenner at Witney Market

West Oxfordshire District Council is throwing its support behind National Market Day by offering discounted pitches to budding entrepreneurs.

The National Market Day initiative, which runs from June 23 – July 8, looks to support local markets and encourage people to not only use them but also consider setting up their own stall. West Oxfordshire District Council is offering first-time traders the opportunity to hire a pitch for £10 to allow them to test their goods with minimal outlay, while permanent traders will pay no fee during the initiative. They can also take advantage of the free parking offered to all stallholders.
Brian Hicks, Witney Market Superintendant, said: “We already have a wide range of stalls and plenty of room for potential stallholders. The great thing about opening a stall is how quickly word spreads and the interest it can generate.”

Keith Davies, from Burford, has been selling plants at the Market for over 30 years and hopes to pass on the family business to his son when he retires.
He said: “The reason we have been able to keep going is due to our loyal customers and that they know it’s all locally grown flowers and plants. I’ve seen a lot changes over the years and competition from the big superstores but customers tell me they like to come to the market because of the customer service and the atmosphere.”

Kay Vito, who runs a stall that offers freshly made bread and cakes, explained how running a stall keeps costs down. She said: “The rent, compared to a shop, is very low and it’s good place to discover if what I’m selling is popular without investing too much money.”

Cllr Richard Langridge, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “Markets are a great place for entrepreneurs to get a business idea off the ground. We want to give prospective shopkeepers a chance to try their hand at running a low-cost business. I’d encourage prospective traders to get in touch and also ask people to come out and support them.”

“We want to use the opportunity to enable people to show affection and support for their market. While markets have a vital retail role, they can also provide much more to a local community and provide a much greater and wider experience. The bustle and colour of a successful market is difficult to rival.”

First time traders can hire a pitch for £10 at Chipping Norton Market on June 20 and at Witney Market on June 21 and 23. Permanent traders will pay no fee during these dates.

National Market Day is a result of one of the recommendations in the recent Mary Portas Report highlighting the importance of supporting local markets. Mary Portas was commissioned by the Government to put forward proposals for revitalising the High Street. In her report Mary made particular reference to the role of markets and acknowledged that markets can be a significant economic driver in achieving success. She also highlighted how markets can provide opportunities for new start businesses and encouraged establishment of a National Market Day to profile the role of markets.

Posted : 23/06/2012 00:18:37

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